The global market for security robotics will grow at a compound annual rate of 20 percent over the next five years to reach a total market value of $2.8 billion by 2023, according to an IDC Market Spotlight report titled, “Extending the Capabilities of Human Security Officers With Modern Robotics,” written by John Santagate, research director, service robots for IDC.

 A recent IDC survey found that 40 percent of respondents in non-manufacturing industries said they use or plan to use robots for security, which IDC has calculated end up costing organizations roughly half the hourly rate of human security officers when amortized over time. This could mean a savings of $1.7 billion to $2.2 billion per year in the U.S. alone if one assumes that security robots handled 10 percent of all physical security duties, the report says.

Advances in technology have meant that robots can safely exist in workplace and other public environments, using mobility to patrol facilities, catalog data and identify anomalies, Santagate writes. Human security guards will need to enhance their skills to work alongside their robot partners, who in turn will enhance human guards’ potential response capability footprint.

But robots are not meant to replace humans, the report concludes. They are meant to handle certain tasks, enhance the capabilities of more qualified personnel and move humans’ role to a more technical focus on managing robotic security technology.